April 21, 2007

How I Spent My Saturday Night

I knew something was up when I came home late in the afternoon and my mom said, “Sooo, I have a question for you: How would you like to go shopping for a new dryer?”

Considering that when I had left the house earlier in the day, our dryer was fine as far as I knew, it struck me as a bit of an odd question.

It turns out my mom had unwittingly left a black wax pencil in one of her pants’ pockets and then proceeded to wash and dry the thing. It also turns out that while a black wax pencil can make it through a gently spinning cold wash cycle relatively in place, intact and totally undetected, that’s not the case once it reaches the inside of a warm dryer where it bounces up, down and all around.

My poor, unsuspecting mom opened the dryer to find that her load of laundry was covered in black spots and streaks. So was the inner bin of the dryer, as well as the inside of the dryer door. At first she thought the dryer had somehow sprung a major oil leak. Then when she stopped to consider that the dryer doesn’t function via oil-lubed engine, she went searching for other possibilities. And found the stub of the wax pencil.

After some frantic, but unsuccessful, attempts to wipe the interior clean she decided it would just be easier to buy a new dryer.

But it turns out that I’m cheap. Or, more accurately, that I don’t see the need to spend $500 on a new dryer when I could put that money toward an oh-so-much-more-fun IVIg infusion instead. (More on that in a later post.) So after a few unsuccessful attempts of my own to rid the dryer’s insides of its new paint job, including blasting the waxy film with steam from my hand-held clothes steamer, I came up with a question of my own: “What would Heloise do?”

I have a 2-inch-thick Hints From Heloise book that could be useful if I took it upon myself to actually, ahem, clean every once in a while. My mom cracked it open. It recommended something like WD-40, which we weren’t sure was such a terrific idea, but it did spark another thought: Avon’s Skin So Soft product, which apparently not only softens skin but also manages to remove waxy residue from enamel-coated surfaces.

So I spent Saturday evening laying on the laundry room floor, giving the dryer a more thorough cleaning than any of our other appliances are likely to see in their lifetimes. And as an extra bonus, our clothes smell oh-so-soft.

April 15, 2007

Oh, How I Hurt

This weight thing has gotten out of control. My face is fat, my feet are fat, and I’m even outgrowing some of my by-now-all-elastic-waistband wardrobe.

So I woke up Monday morning bound and determined to do something about it. My chubby little self was in the pool at the local gym by 6:15 a.m.

I love to swim. I was practically half fish when I was growing up. And besides being great fun, it’s a wonderful form of exercise – I can raise my heart rate without sweating. Instead, I sluice through the cool, refreshing water. If I’m not sweating, it doesn’t feel like exercise, which is apparently key for me.

But I digress.

I swam the first lap. It was fine. Since I hadn’t exercised in a very long time, I was taking it easy and not pushing myself. Then, about a quarter of the way through my second lap (still taking it easy and not pushing myself, mind you), my arms began to tingle and burn. Then they began to shriek at me, “What the heck are you doing?”

I kept going. I was bound and determined to keep swimming. For a whole hour, no less. And I did. Eventually, the burning sensation went away. I’m not sure if it was just that my arms went numb and I could no longer feel their protests, or that they finally just gave up and adjusted. Either way, I kept going.

When the hour was finished, I was so proud of myself. I had spent a whole hour exercising, and I felt great.

That lasted less than eight hours.

That afternoon, as I was changing out of a t-shirt, I discovered a problem. I hurt. More accurately, my upper arms, shoulders and neck were sore to the point that I almost couldn’t get the t-shirt over my head. And I had a major headache, most likely triggered by my throbbing neck muscles.

I spent most of Tuesday in bed, popping pills to try to make the headache go away.

But on the bright side, my feet look thinner.